Thanks to the release of a certain space-faring epic last week, all eyes in the gaming world are suddenly turned to the sci-fi genre once more
It’s provided rich pickings for PlayStation 4 owners, that’s for certain, with No Man’s Sky only the latest release concerned with space, the future and/or physic-warping mechanics to get tongues wagging.
Here are the best sci-fi experiences you should check out on Sony’s console.
Frictional’s follow-up to their hugely successful Amnesia: The Dark Descent is less explicitly terrifying, playing out more as an exercise in existential dread.
But what an exercise it is. Armed with a compelling narrative, powerful philosophical questions and an experience that ranges from thrilling to disturbing to quietly awe-inspiring, your journey through SOMA’s underwater research facility gone to hell will likely be an unforgettable one.
Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell proved he’s no indie one-hit wonder with this thoroughly intriguing experience: a Metal Gear-inspired adventure that also doubles as a cyberspace take on the Robin Hood legend.
Tasking the player with completing sneaky ‘heists’ in a VR simulator, it’s also one of the most engaging stealth games currently available.
This isometric action-RPG comes from the creators of indie darling Bastion – and features a gorgeous art style and some really robust combat as you wield the titular giant sword.
An amazing combination of action and narrative not seen from even most AAA games.
The Talos Principle
Ever since Portal blew our minds with its space-altering puzzles, first person puzzlers have been ten a penny.
The Talos Principle is one of the best though, challenging players to overcome a wide range of puzzle rooms set in compelling environments that cross the ancient with the futuristic.
Ok. So at the time of writing, PS4 owners still have a week to wait until it lands on the platform. But it’s coming soon – and you better be ready for it.
PlayDead’s follow-up to their acclaimed and brilliant Limbo is another visually-striking masterpiece of inventive puzzle-platforming. Only this time it comes complete with an intriguing dystopian, technological backdrop and themes. The results are breathtaking.
No Man’s Sky
Yep. It’s in here. And you can’t fault its sheer ambition. Though whether you truly fall in love with Hello Games’ much-hyped space exploration title will depend on your expectations and personal taste.
Love survival mechanics, resource management, and hours of quiet, contemplative discovery? You’ll be right at home.
As an authentic successor to the classic Alien movie, aesthetically, thematically, and in the returning of the Xenomorph creature to its terrifying extreme, Creative Assembly’s gripping nail-biter is a triumph.
The horror element is palpably effective (trust us: you’ll be spending hours at a time cowering in lockers), but its retro-future setting also captivates in spades – from the cool envisaging of a blue collar space station through a ’70s sci-fi filter, to the eerily dysfunctional, mannequin-like androids.
Life Is Strange
Drawing inspiration from the likes of Donnie Darko and The Butterfly Effect, but very much telling its own, heartfelt story, this gripping interactive adventure is part high school drama, part neo-noir mystery, and part sci-fi conundrum.
Likeable protagonist Max discovers she can rewind time: resulting in a cool game mechanic, narrative device and thematic talking-point all in one. Her re-connection with childhood bestie Chloe forms the heart of the plot; the mind-bending implications of her (and your) actions, the brain. Forget the sometimes awkward dialogue – this is genuinely compelling stuff.
Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
The genius of The Chinese Room’s atmospheric narrative adventure is to combine an over-arching tale of tantalising, haunting sci-fi audaciousness with the heartbreaking, down-to-earth personal stories of a small, tightly-knit village’s residents.
Tracking down glowing orbs of light, and watching flashback-ed dialogues between ordinary people playing out, proves so, so captivating. Composer Jessica Curry’s beautiful, poignant music is the icing on the cake.
Enduring both the moody, claustrophobic tunnels of Moscow’s subway system, and the toxic air and shattered city ruins above, the post-apocalyptic experience of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light is one of profound tension and suspense.
The two games are superlative shooters, stealth titles and horror games rolled into one, with an awesome dollop of compelling world-building for good measure. And on top of that, there’s a captivating, almost mystical-feeling extraterrestrial element, that will surely grab your interest.